Call your state senator and ask them to support Senate Bill 501.
Call your state house representative and ask them to support House Bill 4504.
Who is my State Senator and State Representative? Go to www.michiganlegislature.org and click on contact my Senator or my House Representative on the bottom and find out and call them every day for the next few weeks! We can win this fight, but we need your help!
Tell them how you feel and here are some points to share with them as well!
- The half mile rule has been in place for over 40 years and no other Liquor Commission has ever wanted to abolish it because it works!
- There are no real objective public policy purposes for getting rid of the half mile rule.
- This MLCC in late December 2013 issued a Declaratory ruling supporting the half mile rule which was challenged in Ingham County courts and the half mile rule prevailed. So why a sudden change of heart from the same MLCC.
- A conflict does not exist between the half mile rule and any other existing statute. The half mile rule governs distance while other laws govern the number of licenses or quotas. If we assume it did, Senate Bill 501 would correct the alleged conflict.
- MLCC has previously stated lack of personnel is an issue when measuring the half mile, Senate Bill 501 takes care of that problem by using GPS for measurement.
- There are close to 4,500 SDD licenses in place already and according to a Mlive article using MLCC data, the spirits industry in Michigan is over a $6 billion-dollar business and equates to every man, woman, and child drinking 8 drinks per week regardless of age. So, business continues to increase.
- Rescission of the half mile rule will have a disproportionate negative impact on small business owners. There is a reason over 70% of the spirits sold today is done by small business owners. Rescission of the half mile rule will hurt thousands of small business owners.
- Thousands of retailers, mostly small business owners have invested their life savings into these businesses with certain rules and regulations which have been in place and now the current MLCC wants to change the rules without any real public policy objective.
- Localities do not want four liquor stores in every busy corner or next to each other. Now someone can move an SDD license from one city within a county to another city and the quota only works against the city it was originally issued in, not where it is placed which will cause a geographic saturation of certain neighborhoods.
- If some suggest greater competition is the reason for getting rid of the half mile rule, that is not accurate since anybody can see what a licensee purchases from the State and place a new license right next to them, and without the half mile rule you will have licenses on top of licenses in smaller geographic areas. A true free market system and competition would be getting rid of the Michigan closed system and the MLCC as a regulatory body.
- More importantly we are talking about spirits. Please look at the most recent Center for Alcohol Policy Survey showing that 89% of adults agree that it is very important to keep the American alcohol industry regulated. Additionally, four-in-five Americans agree that since alcohol is different, it requires a different set of rules, and states should regulate it.
Auday P. Arabo, Esq
MIRA President & CEO